July 25, 2012 / 6:45 AM / 5 years ago

J.Martins Q2 profit dips 4 pct, sales up

LISBON, July 25 (Reuters) - Portuguese retailer Jeronimo Martins on Wednesday posted a 4 percent drop in second-quarter net profit, but said it remained hopeful to post a strong set of results for the year despite an economic slowdown in its key market Poland and a recession at home.

Net profit dropped to 84 million euros ($101.5 million), coming in below an average forecast of 90 million euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.

But Jeronimo Martins, which is the second-largest retailer in Portugal and Poland’s largest food retail firm via its Biedronka discount chain, said total sales rose over 6 percent in the quarter from a year ago to 2.67 billion euros, compared to 2.69 billion euros expected by analysts.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) edged up 1.5 percent in the quarter to 174 million euros. Analysts had forecast, on average, EBITDA of 177 million euros.

Portugal is taking painful austerity measures to slash its budget deficit under a 78-billion euro EU/IMF bailout plan. The economy is expected to contract 3 percent this year after shrinking 1.6 percent last year.

$1 = 0.8275 euros Reporting By Andrei Khalip

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